ISLAMABAD, Feb 10 (APP):Minister for Power Division Omar Ayub Khan on Monday informed the National Assembly that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government was taking all possible measures to provide electricity at cheaper rates in near future.

Responding to a question in the House, he said steps were being taken for launching alternate energy projects to provide electricity on cheaper rates to the consumers. Besides renewal energy plants, focus on wind and hydel resources would help address the problems in the power sector.

He said that it was unfortunate that the previous government had generated expensive electricity through liquefied natural gas (LNG).

He said the government had started a campaign to check power theft in various parts of the country, and first information reports had been registered against 45,000 people.
The minister said thousands of employees had been put behind the bars for their involvement in power pilferage while hundreds of others were issued show cause notices for their involvement in corruption.

He said currently, there was zero load-shedding on around 80% feeders. The PTI government was determined to end load-shedding on the remaining 20 percent feeders by ending the electricity theft and had already brought improvement in the distribution system.

Responding to another question, he said the Health, Safety and Environment Quality (HSEQ) Cell had been established in Pakistan Electric Power Company (PEPCO) to improve safety to general public and employees, which monitored the accidents on daily basis, and gave policies, standard operating procedures and guidelines for implementation.

He said the HSEQ Cell also monitored trainings of line stall on safety and removal of hazardous points that might result in fatal accidents.

He said there was no policy in vogue regarding payment of compensation to the general public. However, in some cases, compensation had been paid as per court orders in various DISCOs (distribution companies).

He said that Islamabad Electric Supply Company (IESCO) board of directors had approved a policy to compensate the bereaved families on accident of general public. The Power Division had already directed PEPCO to coordinate with all DISCOs for development / adoption of a similar policy as of IESCO, at the earliest.

Regarding the Turkmenistan–Afghanistan–Pakistan–India Pipeline (TAPI) project, he said the ground work had already been started in Afghanistan and Turkmenistan. The project company (TPCL) was currently negotiating TAPI- Host Government Agreement (HGA) with the Government of Pakistan.

After the signing of the HGA, the ground breaking ceremony for Pakistan would be held and it would take 30 months to complete phase-I of the project.

The work on the Iran Pakistan Gas Pipeline Project was stalled due to international sanctions on Iran. Pakistan had completed major project preparatory activities including bankable feasibility study; detailed route survey; Front End Engineering & Design; installation of concrete markers on the Entire route; initiation of land acquisition process; and NOCs from environmental authorities of Balochistan and Sindh.

He said recently, with the approval of Federal Cabinet, Pakistan and Iran had signed an Amendment Agreement as both sides had been given period of five years to complete the project. However, any further progress was linked with lifting of US sanctions on Iran.